Monday, July 28, 2014

The Happy Wife Project: Expectations vs Reality

Go Forth and Mother

Sometimes I feel like I am ungrateful for not being as happy with my life as I should be. And that I should be grateful everyday for the life I have.  I mean it is what I wanted right?  And now that I have it shouldn't I be overjoyed and thrilled all the time? 

I'm not sure what I expected daily life to be.  But I know I was better at it all somehow.  The house was cleaner in my expectations.  I always had things for my kids to do and I wanted to play with them endlessly.  Dinner was always perfect and everyone loved it.  Homeschooling never entered into my expectations so of course I had kids ready and out there door to school on time every day and I always had time to help the PTO. 

Chaos did not have a place in my expectations.

I'll let you in on a little secret- my life is not exactly like I pictured it. 

And I feel somehow less because of it sometimes.  Not quite as happy as I should be.

But when I stumble upon bloggers like Amy, I read posts that make me feel less alone. 

Yes I should be more grateful for what I have, and think less about what I don't have or what others do have.  But it is okay to feel down sometimes.  It is okay for reality and expectations not to be the same thing.  But it isn't okay to wallow in it.  It isn't okay to throw up my hands and say "that's it.  I give up.  I am bound to be unhappy."

I guess I never expected to get tired just doing the things that are daily obligations when you have a houseful of people that need looking after.  I did not expect that there would be days that I would just want to run away for a few hours and not have the responsibility sitting on me.  I don't think this makes me a bad person or mom.  I really hope it doesn't. 

I did not expect that I would miss seeing my friends but that when I did actually have time to see them I was so tired that staying home in bed seemed like a better option. 

But then there is the good stuff.  The reasons I smile when I do. 

I have people who love me, most important the four little loves that live in my house and drive me batty on what feels like a daily basis.   They are so free with their love, it's amazing.  My kids routinely and randomly tell me that they love me and want hugs and sunggles.  And amazingly they also seem to know just when I need it most.  I didn't expect that.

I have a husband who goes to work every day to "bring home the bacon" as we like to joke.  Jon loves his job and I am so incredibly grateful for that.  But he also is the one who has supporting us financially sitting heavily on his shoulders.  I don't.  He works a second job during the school year and teaches classes during the summer as well.  This year he is adding courses for his Masters onto his already busy workload.  And he still makes time to help around the house and be an awesome dad to our kids.  How can I not be grateful for all of that?  I didn't expect that I would love him more after ten years of marriage then I did on our wedding day.

I have a part time job that provides me with the flexibility to work only when Jon is home.  I can arrange my work nights around his classes and the kids activities.  I work with women who are funny.  I get an awesome discount that comes in handy when clothing four children.  I didn't expect that.

I have a good, solid house in a quiet neighborhood where we actually know our neighbors and our kids have friends to play with.  In the next year, hopefully sooner, the house will expand to include a very large open room upstairs where at least two of the boys will sleep.  This will allow Madeline to have her own room and allow us to simply spread out a little more.  But even without the additional space it is a good house. And we make it into a great home.  I didn't expect to live in the town we chose. 

It isn't what I expected.  It is loud, and chaotic.  It is messy and silly.  It is also rewarding, loving, and full of the choices that we made.  Jon and I chose to live the life that we are living.  And there is something rewarding and fulfilling just in knowing that. 

And I didn't expect that.

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